As I was leaving for work this morning, there were two ladies walking down the street with umbrellas and toting bags. Thought the Jehovah’s only worked Barrigada Heights on Saturday mornings at 730am. (haha!) Come to find out they are/were from Barrigada parish soliciting funds for Annual Appeal.
They asked if they could leave an envelope for the Appeal and if they could come by later. I asked them, ‘what do you do with the money? Where does it go? How is it accounted for? What are the priorities for the money? Who is the custodian?’
Wow. They looked at each other and said, ‘why are you asking these questions? Don’t you know that the Archbishop is the one who has the authority….’ I said, ‘authority for what? To spend my hard-earned money at his own discretion and disposal? Is that okay with you?’
One of the ladies could tell I wasn’t going to back down, so she started talking to me in Chamorro – ‘pot fabot, ….’ I told her ‘Ma’am, I don’t know you and you probably don’t know me so let me help you understand where I’m coming from. My family has been part of the church family forever. We have been generous whenever the church asked because we loved and trusted the leadership until Archbishop Flores passed.
Let me give you an example: When Archbishop Flores said no abortion, no gambling, no whatever – he explained why and pleaded for the conscientious decisions of the faithful to follow his lead for the good of the people. He regularly visited the schools, visited the sick, incarcerated, found and supported programs for whatever few homeless or mis-guided/abused/abusive as he could. His CCA was always successful without fanfare. He held the love and respect of his faithful from young to old.’
They nodded their heads ‘yes, nai ha-gao, but Archbishop Apuron….’ I said ‘yes, Apuron has never had the respect, love or leadership because he has always been arms length in his position. What other archbishop goes and makes a singing CD, perms and colors his hair, gallivants and politicizes the faith and basically over 30 years alienates his faithful to other churches and sects?’ How can you explain the growth of Christian schools such as Harvest and St. Paul’s popularity leaving behind the Catholic school system he doesn’t even endorse/encourage?
So I tell them, ‘you want me to give money to have this guy go and spend where ever he wants and not be accountable? You want me to entrust money to this guy who pleasures himself by defaming beloved sons of the church? My friends Father Paul and Monsignor James? And why does he feel compelled to lie about practically everything he’s questioned about?’
Holy cow! That set them off! ‘Oh are you friends with Tim Rohr? Don’t you know he’s not even from here?’
I said, ‘oh like those people the Archbishop takes his orders from? That he gave Yona property to?’
At that point, I just raised my hand and told said I had to get to work. When they asked if they could leave envelopes, I just said not to bother. I will be giving my money to Sanctuary and Guam Cancer Care where I can see the money at work where it says it will be used.’
Thank goodness I took my blood pressure medication!
Anyway, have a blessed day!